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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Apr 30

The Basics of Using Natural Pest Control for Gardens

By chadchaffin | Gardening

Choosing to use natural pest control for the garden is a great way to ensure a safer environment and an even more sustainable gardening. Natural pest control after all, does not have dangerous chemicals that can pose health risks to the user, the plants, the family, as well as its pets.

Moreover, natural pest control for the garden is also a more affordable alternative compared to buying store-bought chemical based plant pesticides. Some ingredients in fact can be found at any home’s pantry, and are very easy to mix up. Other methods meanwhile just involve attracting other insects by taking advantage of companion planting. Netting and barrier methods are also natural ways to remove pests from the garden and the plants.

More importantly, choosing natural pest control methods also ensure that herbs, fruits, and vegetables harvested from one’s own garden or mini orchard, are all safe to eat.

This article aims to share the many benefits of going the natural way when it comes to controlling pests in the garden. What pest control methods are available for your garden, specifically for flowers, fruit-bearing plants, vegetables, herbs, and the whole garden in general. Lastly, we will giving you some tips, as well as simple recipes and solutions that will help you start off with natural pest control in your garden.

The Benefits of Using Natural Pest Control

Natural pest control has many benefits that each homeowner should take advantage of. Here’s a list of some of the benefits of using Natural Pest Control for your garden:

  1. It is safe for the user and his whole family. Handling chemical based pest control solutions can pose a whole lot of dangers to the health of the one doing the gardening and his whole family. In fact, with young children around, it can be very dangerous to have these highly toxic preparations. Natural Pest Control is definitely the way to go, if you are aiming to have a toxic-free household.
  2. It is safer for the environment. Store-bought pest control can end up in water sources like rivers and streams, polluting the environment. Its production also makes up for carbon footprint, unlike natural pest control solutions that usually makes use of recyclable containers and the like. For companion planting, and usage of other insects as predators it helps promote an even better eco system.
  3. It makes for healthier food. If you are planting your own herbs, fruits and vegetables, using natural; pest control definitely is a great way to ensure that you are not feeding anything toxic to your family.   
  4. It is gentler for the plants. Chemical-based pest control solutions may be too harsh on the plant. Natural pest control definitely is so much better because of its non-synthetic composition.
  5. Better for household with pets. Pet safety is also one great advantage of using natural pest control. Pets can hang out in the garden and sniff or even lick these dangerous chemicals. Some pets unwittingly chomp on plants, and even eat fruits or vegetables in the garden. Make sure that your pets are safe by using natural pest control methods in getting rid of pests in your garden.
  6. It is cheaper. All-natural means it is (almost) readily available to most households. Who does not have garlic, citrus fruits, chili powder, oil, liquid soap and bicarb in their homes? Trust that your expense will be way lower when you switch to all-natural pest control solutions instead of the store-bought ones.

2. Usage of home-made, natural-based pest control solutions.

 There are a lot of Do-It-Yourself recipes for pest control solutions that are shared over the internet, and found in gardening books. Take advantage of these because they do not only come cheap, they can also be as effective as their chemical-based counterparts.

Checklist

  1. Using Natural Pest Predators. There are insects that are great at helping garden plants and crops survive the infestation of plant pests. These beneficial insects can either be attracted to the plants through companion planting or by buying them and letting them take residence on your infested plants. Here are some insects that can be very helpful in removing pests in your plant garden:
    1. Ladybugs. These insects help much in getting rid of aphids, whiteflies, mites, among other pests that may infest your crops. Plant celery, carrots, or parsley to encourage them to stay in your garden and protect your other crops.
    2. Praying Mantis. Although they can naturally occur in your garden, these insects are usually bought from online catalogues. This is one of the most effective est predators since it loves to feast on almost any type of plant insect and pests.
    3. Lace Wings. Lace Wings kill as well aphids that destroy plants. It also combats other insect-pests that may infest your healthy plants. Lace wings can be invited to your garden by planting flowers like Asters.
    4. Nematodes. If you want to get rid of beetles and cut worms, then attract nematodes into your garden. These insects are usually bought from online catalogs. How it works, you ask? It works by laying eggs that should be mixed on soil, which in turn will act as a natural pest control to fight off cutworm and beetle infestation.
    5. Using Barriers and Insect Traps. These methods may seem old school, but they do work. For instance, nets can prevent fruits and vegetables from being eaten by insects, and feasted upon by other pests. Fly and sticky pest papers meanwhile trap pests that could ruin flowers, fruits, leaves, and vegetables. Traps meanwhile work for maggots that invade fruit-bearing plants and trees. Row Covers, paper covers and the like meantime act as a barrier against pests that defend grown plants, or even seedlings from getting infested.
  1. Using Barriers and Insect Traps. These methods may seem old school, but they do work. For instance, nets can prevent fruits and vegetables from being eaten by insects, and feasted upon by other pests. Fly and sticky pest papers meanwhile trap pests that could ruin flowers, fruits, leaves, and vegetables. Traps meanwhile work for maggots that invade fruit-bearing plants and trees. Row Covers, paper covers and the like meantime act as a barrier against pests that defend grown plants, or even seedlings from getting infested.

Natural Pest Control for Gardens

As mentioned, there are a lot of options when it comes to natural pest control for gardens. All you need is to determine which one you will be most comfortable to use, and what will work for your garden.

Bear in mind though, that for do-it-yourself all-natural solutions, the shelf-life of these chemical-free pesticides are not as lengthy as those that are bought in stores. Take note of the refrigeration and usage guides, as well as the date that it was mixed so as to ensure its effectivitiy.

  1. Best Natural Pesticides for Vegetable Gardening. Garlic is by far the best natural pest control ingredient to help stop pest infestation on your vegetables. Blend a whole garlic bulb into half a liter of water. Add the blended garlic solution to a gallon of water, strain, and then transfer on a recycled sprayer. Use this on leaves of your vegetable plants and you will agree that it is one of the best natural pesticides for vegetable garden.
  2. Best Natural Pest Control for Flowering Plants. Oil Insecticide is a great chemical-free insecticide to use on flowering plants. What it does is it coats the body of whatever insect or pest that decides to infest a flower. The oil then prevents the insect from breathing and fully functioning, killing them instantly.Mix a cup of any oil available in your kitchen, mix with a tablespoon of powdered detergent or liquid soap, and then mix. This will be your base concentrate. Every time you will need to spray, mix up 10 ml of the concentrate to a quart of water, transfer into a spray container, shake and spray accordingly.
  3. Best Natural Pest Control for Fruit-Bearing Plants and Trees – bearing plants. Neem Oil is hands-down one of the most effective natural pesticides for plants, specifically for fruit-bearing trees and plants. It is the choice pesticide of those that are working on organic produce because it can kill insect-pest regardless if it still an egg, a larvae, or an adult insect.
    It is non-toxic and is a natural fungicide. It is also a mildew killer. It can also be used as a preventative solution when sprayed unto foliage.
    Just mix a tablespoon of neem oil, a teaspoon of liquid detergent or hand soap, and a quart of water. Shake and spray unto leaves. This pesticide is safe for humans, as well as pets!

Sample Recipes and Solutions that can be used as a natural pest control

You do not have to rush to your nearest plant store to make your own natural pesticides. Just open your cupboard, or even your household supplies cabinet and you will be faced with an arsenal of chemical-free ingredients that you can use as pesticide in your garden.

Apart from the above-mentioned “best of the best” recipes, here are five other effective chemical-free pesticides you can use in your garden.

1. Chili Garlic Oil Spray

Steep a crushed garlic bulb, a tablespoon of any type of oil, two tablespoons of chili powder, and a tablespoon of liquid soap (baby soap is best), and dilute in a quarter of water, shake and spray. This can be used on all plant surfaces to repel insects. It is also a great natural insect repellant for homes. Just make sure that you do not touch your eyes after spraying, and instruct children to stay away from it too.

2. Castile Soap Spray.

Organic Castile Soap can be a very effective spray to ward off aphids, mites, bugs, and beetles from infesting your plants. Just mix two tablespoons of liquid castile soap in whatever scent or flavor you wish. Mix into a quart of water, shake and spray.

3. Eucalyptus Oil Spray

 This is not only good for preventing mosquitoes inside the home, it can actually prevent insects from infesting plants! Simply mix two teaspoons of eucalyptus oil into a quart of water. Mix and spray. This will be very useful against bees, wasps, as well as other flies that may surround fruits and vegetables grown in your garden. No wonder it is one of the more popular natural pest control methods known to organic gardeners.

4. Sea Salt Spray

Are spiders taking over your garden? Worry no more. Add a tablespoon of rock salt or sea salt into a quart of water, dissolve, mix, and spray on plants. Natural pest control companies use sea salt spray to ward off these eight-legged critters.

5. Citrus Oil, Soap and Water Pesticide Spray

This mixture will ensure drive away ants, roaches and slugs from your garden. Simply mix four tablespoons of orange-flavored Castile Soap with six tablespoons of orange oil and a gallon of water. Shake thoroughly until well blended, and then spray accordingly. It can also be used as natural home pest control, particularly in the kitchen which is usually infested by ants or roaches due to food bits and droppings.

Conclusion

Choosing to go chemical-free is very beneficial to your health and safety. It is a great way of staying away from preventable illnesses brought forth by using synthetic ingredients that can be toxic to the whole household including the pests. Moreover, natural pest controlling methods are friendly to the budget and the environment, and brings out the resourceful person in you.

Before heading out to buy chemical-based garden pesticides, try first to go natural and witness that it can be as effective as its store-bought counterparts.

Apr 22

How to mow a lawn: a beginner guide

By chadchaffin | Gardening

Moving on to a new home, or finally deciding to set aside a garden area in your current one will definitely bring on the need to decide on having a grass to grow in your yard.

After all, grass is the bed that will be the back drop of the many plants, flowers, trees and shrubs that you will be planting in your lawn or garden. After deciding on the grass to grow, and allowing it to thrive comes the part when you would have to trim and maintain.

Like any other plant, grass needs to me maintained so that it could retain its lushness, color, and the life it spreads unto the whole garden itself.

But when do we cut new grass? How do we perfectly maintain it without back-breaking and time consuming effort?

This article aims to help you with maintain a lush grass turf in your lawn, garden, or backyard. We will be discussing when to cut new grass, plus other questions you may have when it comes to grass maintenance such as what could happen if the grass in your lawn is not routinely maintained. We will likewise be sharing with you some tools that are available to help you maintain your lawn without having to slave over gardening. Lastly, we will impart some tips on how to keep your grass patch healthy, thriving and vibrant.

Cutting Grass: The Rules of the Game

Generally, newly planted grass can already be cut or mowed once it has reached three to four inches in height. Having said that there are limits of course on how much one can cut in terms of the grass blade’s remaining length in the patch.

Ask any experienced gardener or lawn mowing service, and he will tell you that the rule of thumb is to always, always retain two-thirds of the grass blade when mowing or cutting grass. This means that you should only cut about a third of the blade’s current height such that it can maintain its health and lushness.

Even if it means having to mow the lawn every week, it will still be in your best interest to retain such grass height because any height shorter than that may prevent the grass from growing healthily. Besides, grass cutting should be done at least on a weekly basis to prevent weeds from growing, so better adjust that mower to retain the said height when cutting grass, and allot time to do the mowing.

What can happen if the grass will not be cut regularly?

Well, leaving your grass patch growing on its own without maintenance in the form of routine cutting or mowing would leave it unsightly. Overgrown grass does not look lush and gorgeous, bringing the overall look of your front yard or garden down, instead of accentuating the whole picture.

More importantly, an ill-maintained grass patch would lead to under nourished grass. Why? Because nutrients will fail to reach its roots easily and at the same time, sunshine can be blocked by the blades of over growing grasses. It basically makes the whole patch weaker, unhealthy, and very much susceptible to plant diseases.

When this happens, the grass can die, and it would mean another expense to have it revived, or worse replace it with new patches.

Weeds can also take over the lawn when the grass is left to grow on its own without regular maintenance and cutting.

Moreover, it can damage your lawn mower or grass cutter because too long a grass blade can jam up the mower’s blades.

What can be done to maintain a healthy grass patch?

At the end of the day, it all boils down to time management. Caring for one’s lawn requires an investment of time and money. It is not a walk in the park at all. Some choose to invest on gardening tools and equipment that will help lessen the time that they spent maintaining their garden and at the same time lessen the effort that they have to exert.

Not all homeowners though may have the enough budget to finance power gardening tools that will make life easier. Some hire a lawn mowing service, which is of course a perfect scenario, but not everyone may have a room in their budget for that.

So does this mean that an ordinary homeowner should slave for hours in the lawn or the garden? Not Really. One just has to dedicate a specific time every week to mow the lawn or cut the grass so that it will not overgrow, be unhealthy, and maintain its lush and vibrancy.

What are the basic tools available to help in cutting and maintaining grass?

Fortunately, the world of grass maintenance have also been modernized that a homeowner can invest on gadgets and equipment that can make his life easier. Here are some:

  1. Grass Cutter – Every home with a garden or lawn must have a grass cutter. Yes it is old school but it does its job well especially for areas that cannot be reached easily by a lawn mower.
  2. Lawn Mower – Lawn mowers have evolved so much such that, mowing one’s front yard will not require too much time and effort. Basic lawn mowers can be push propelled and could either be rotary or cylinder type. Some leave the trimmed grass on the ground, while other versions have a grass catch which saves up so much time because one no longer has to rake and bag the trimmed grass. It can go from mowing to dumping which is very convenient. Some lawn mowers are still manual or push propelled, while others are fuel-propelled. Either way, it helps a lot in maintaining a healthy looking lawn.
  3. Grass String Trimmer – For those who are taking their landscaped area seriously, one can purchase a string trimmer. This one can cut grass in the corners or very narrow surfaces that a mower cannot reach. It can also be great for overgrown grasses since too long a grass blade can jam up mowers.
  4. Edging Shears – Meticulous homeowners with carefully-manicured lawns use edging shears to clean up the edges of the growing grass. This makes the whole lawn or grass area neater and better looking.
  5. Rake and Besom – This helps in removing cut or trimmed grass from the grass area such that the whole turf would look clean and lush after mowing. It would also ensure that the grass can breath and receive all the nutrients from the water, soil and sunshine that it needs to grow healthily.

Now that you already know the basic tools for turf maintenance, then here are some ways to keep grass healthy and growing lushly.

Tips in Maintaining Grass:

  1. Trim regularly. As mentioned earlier in this article, the rule of thumb is to mow the lawn at least once a week to ensure that the grass will not overgrow, and to prevent weeds from growing. During the summer months when grass growth slows down, regular mowing can be done every 10-14 days, but do not go two weeks without cutting.
  2. Mow Carefully. Always observe the right trimming height for the grasses no matter how quickly it grows. It will be better to mow more often, than have unhealthy looking grass that would die and dry up in time.
  3. Regularly water the grass. Ensure that the grass gets adequate nutrients and hydration from regularly watering them. If you do not have the time to manually water the grass or the lawn, have a sprinkler that can be programmed to water the whole lawn at least once a day, or twice during the summer months.
  4. Invest in fertilizers. Yes it may stink, but fertilizers allow grass to grow healthily. It will speed up the growth and adaptation of newly planted grass, and it can ensure the whole turf’s great health.
  5. Get Rid Of Bugs And Pests. Yes, bugs and pests can pester the life of your otherwise healthy patch of landscape. Control their growth by using pest control and bug sprays before they take the life out of your turf.
  6. Get rid of the growing weeds. Do not allow weeds to take over your lawn. Do this by regularly maintaining your garden or lawn through mowing and grass cutting. Take out visible weeds to if you can and you have the time. Otherwise, treat the whole turf with a weed killing solution if need be.

Conclusion

To ensure that the grass will grow healthily, and the lawn will look carefully maintained, dedicate time to regularly trim and mow your grass. Ensure that you only trim one-third of the grass blade’s height for it to continue growing healthily. Invest as well in tools and gardening equipment that will make your weekly lawn maintenance routine a breeze, and something that you can really enjoy doing. Ensure hydration, use fertilizers, and weed and pest control if need be. Lastly, always remember that great things need time and effort. Going home to a lush and vibrant lawn is one of those things.

Apr 21

Best Solo Backpack Weed and Garden Sprayer Reviews

By chadchaffin | Gardening

A Backpack Sprayer is an essential gardening tool meant to ensure that herbicides and other gardening formulas reach the plants, flowers, and trees in the garden without requiring too much effort from the gardener. Apart from making the gardener’s life easier, it also helps ensure safety while working in the garden by not exposing him too much on herbicides, fertilizers, and other chemicals or gardening solutions that may endanger his health.

There are manual and battery operated garden pumps, and both have corresponding advantages and disadvantages. Piston, diaphragm, and battery operated, and gas powered pumps abound the market today, aiming to ensure a better gardening experience for any enthusiast.

This guide aims to help you choose the most appropriate backpack sprayer for you considering your needs and preferences. We will be discussing the various benefits of using a backpack sprayer, who stands to take advantage of these benefits, the factors one has to consider in purchasing a backpack sprayer, plus our comparison table on the high-rated backpack sprayers in the market today.

Who will benefit from a backpack sprayer?

Home gardeners with a lawn, and a sizeable garden (as opposed to pocket gardens), mini orchard, hobby farmers, as well as those who operate a small business related to farming, gardening, pest control, and home cleaning treatments.
As you can see, backpack sprayers are not just solely meant for gardening, it can also be used for other activities such as home disinfection, cleaning, pest and mildew control and the like.

The Advantages of Using a Backpack Sprayer

Backpack sprayers carry a ton of benefits for a gardening enthusiast, hobby farmers, and other individuals who choose to utilize such a gardening tool. Here is a list of the advantages of using a Backpack Sprayer:

  1. Backpack sprayers allow home gardeners and hobby farming enthusiasts to spray a bigger lawn, farm or garden area without having to go back and forth to refill tanks.
  2. Backpack sprayers somehow help in minimizing the user’s exposure to harmful liquid and powdered gardening mixtures and chemicals found in fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and the like. It can also hold even more harmful chemicals like bleaching and disinfecting solutions which can be targeted properly.
  3. Backpack sprayers make spraying more targeted on flowers, shrubs, trees and other garden plants, helping the garden or small farm owner save on expenses.
  4. Backpack Sprayers have multiple uses and are very versatile when it comes to the applications where it can be utilized. Apart from gardening and hobby farming, it can be used in deep cleaning a home or a small commercial space, it can likewise be used in home treatments for pests, as well as mold and mildew.
  5. Some modern backpack sprayers are designed to be ergonomic, lessening the strain of carrying and repeated spraying motion on the gardener as he works in an area.

Factors to consider when buying a backpack sprayer

There are a lot of types and brands of backpack sprayers in the market, such that it can be quite challenging to narrow down choices and pin point which one to purchase. For the inexperienced when it comes to back pack spraying, it will be helpful to know what features to look out for before making a purchase decision.

Here are the factors to consider when choosing a backpack sprayer:

  1. Main Objective. This is the foremost factor to consider when picking the right backpack sprayer to suit your needs. You must know your objective when buying a backpack sprayer. It is important that you know why you are buying, what applications you will be using it for.
  2. Type of Chemical to be used. There are quite a number of chemicals that are used in backpack sprayers and some could be corrosive. While the usual Piston-Style pump can be greatly pressurized, it is not meant for abrasive solutions and harmful chemicals found in some herbicides as these can contribute to its corrosion. Powdered formula likewise cannot be used on Piston-type pumps.
  3. Type of plant to spray on. When one needs very targeted applications, then Piston-type pumps can be very useful. Targeted applications ensure that the chemicals and liquid gardening or farming formulas are absorbed by the plant. Moreover, it helps in efficiently dispersing chemicals. At the same breath, wide spraying such as those in weeds, may be great for diaphragm type sprayers.
  4. The area where the backpack sprayer will be used. The bigger the area, the bigger the capacity of sprayer one will need. A bigger-capacity backpack sprayer will be more convenient for the user since he will not have to go back and forth refilling his tank with liquid or powdered spray formulations just so to cover the whole lawn, garden, farm or mini orchard. The caveat here though is If one gets the biggest tank available, the tank’s weight can strain the body in the long run.
  5. The Budget. People have unique budget considerations when it comes to purchasing any product. The good news is that there is a good sprayer for every price point. Of course it will depend on where the sprayer is manufactured, the materials used and the durability. A good trick in finding the best sprayer for one’s budget is to determine the amount you are willing to pay for, and then find the sprayers in that price range.
  6. Preference for Manual or Battery Powered Pump. Of course manual pumps are cheaper but repetitive movements may cause strain after sometime. Battery powered pumps are very convenient to use but depending on the battery capacity of the pump it can be quite disruptive when the battery runs out prior to completing the spraying activity. It is important then to make sure that the battery capacity can last the same time it will be used.
  7. Weight and Capacity of the tank. Back Pack Sprayers are usually sold in two, four and six gallon volume capacity. If you have a small garden then a two gallon back pack sprayer tank can be a good choice. The maximum capacity tank of six gallons meanwhile can help ensure that you will not be refilling every now and then, but then carrying a back pack that heavy can strain one’s back and be achy to the whole body. Moreover, it may constrain the user to use more spray liquid than what is really needed.  
  8. Length of time a backpack sprayer will be used per session. This will determine the capacity, and battery power requirements of the back pack sprayer about to be purchased.
  9. Ease of Use. One has to try on the backpack sprayer or at least check out web videos of reputable reviewers on how to use the backpack sprayer and how easy it is to put on and operate.
  10. Comfortability. Ergonomic design is a huge plus when it comes to choosing the right back pack sprayer. Imagine having something on your body the whole day? Of course it would be best to choose one that will not strain your back, neck, and hand muscles. Thankfully, there are a lot of Backpack sprayer manufacturers that have considered this feature.
  11. Special Features. It would be best if the Backpack Sprayer of your choice comes with added or special features that will increase usage convenience. Some have extra nozzles that have varied use, some come with extra parts or extended sprayer hose.

1. Field King Professional 190328

Field King Professional 190328 No Leak Pump Backpack Sprayer for Killing Weeds in Lawns and Gardens

Via Amazon.com

Field King Professional 190328 is one of the most recommended backpack garden sprayer in the market today. With the many features and design that has the comfort and convenience of the user in mind, the Field King Professional is definitely one of the best finds in the market.

It boasts of a no-leak system that keeps chemicals away from your skin and at the same time keeps your clothing dry. It is made of very durable parts, and those that require regular replacement, can be fixed within minutes without using any tool or equipment. It is ergonomic too ensuring an even weight distribution, relieving the wearer of back aches after the procedure.

It can spray gardening solutions up to 150 PSI, which is very useful for hard-to-reach plants, and plant parts.

2. Stanley 61804 Professional Backpack Poly 4-Gallon Sprayer

Stanley 61804 Professional Backpack Poly 4-Gallon Sprayer

Via Amazon.com

This professional backpack sprayer comes with a poly-wand that has poly tips that are adjustable. It comes with multiple nozzles that have adjustable tips. The large pump enables the Stanley Professional Backpack Garden Spray to pressurize in less time even without too much pumping.

This four-gallon capacity backpack sprayer provides comfortable wear as well given the comfortable shoulder straps. It promises a fatigue-free use even for an extend time in view of its ergonomic carrying straps for a strain-free spraying and operation. Its pump for the sprayer can be transferred to either side to accommodate left or right handed use.

Moreover it is easy to use at it comes with a continuous spray feature, and multiple nozzle tips. It also comes with a strainer that allows the spray solution to remain free from other chemicals and particles.

And because it manufactured by a brand known for heavy-duty products, this backpack sprayer promises to be your heavy duty partner in spraying your lawn , garden, mini orchard, or hobby farm.

3. Chapin 63985 4-Gallon Wide Mouth 20v Battery Backpack Sprayer

Chapin 63985 4-Gallon Wide Mouth 20v Battery Backpack Sprayer, Powered by Black & Decker

The Chapin 63895 is one of the most convenient backpack sprayers to use in the market today. Apart from it being motorized, it can reach a bigger area thanks to its longer length of horizontal spray stream. The same features allows maximum spraying coverage minus the extra work. Continuous spraying can last for almost two hours.

This four gallon tank is also very easy to fill and clean up because unlike other backpack sprayers, it comes with a wide mouth. It has three nozzles that can be used in various applications.

It is also very comfortable to use because of the cushion grips that it has, plus deluxe padded shoulders that will not cause body aches and pains in spite of longer use.

4. Solo 425 4-Gallon Professional Piston Backpack Sprayer

Solo 425 4-Gallon Professional Piston Backpack Sprayer

This garden backpack sprayer is one of the higher rated sprayers in the market today given its efficiency and convenience when it comes to spraying the garden or the lawn. This great-performing piston pump can reach up to 90 psi, allowing effective spraying and better coverage. The four nozzles that it comes with allows for multi-use.

The Solo 425 is also a professional grade pump that is meant for heavy-duty use. The Viton seals, properly positioned in key areas within the pump ensure that the pump is highly durable and can be used for a longer period of time.

This four-gallon backpack sprayer also comes with outstanding ergonomic features that is further complemented by interchangeable left and right hand operation.

BRAND

Field King Professional

Stanley 61804 Professional Backpack

Chapin 63985 Powered by Black & Decker

Solo 425 4-Gallon Professional Piston Backpack Sprayer

Specifications

Four Gallon Capacity, Diaphragm Type and Manual Pump.

Four Gallon Capacity. Piston Type, Manual Pump.

Four Gallon Capacity, Motorized, 20-Volt Lithium Battery Operated Pump.

Four Gallon, Piston Type Manual Pump

Gardening Features

It comes with an internal agitator system that ensures that even powdered solutions remain mixed in. It is also high-pressure given the internal pressure chamber system, allowing for better spraying power. Comes with four spray nozzles that allows the user to use the sprayer in many ways, and has a longer extended sprayer.

It comes with a strainer that allows the spray solution to remain free from debris and other particles. It comes with multiple tips for its multi-purpose nozzles. Moreover it comes with a large pump that quickly pressurizes the solution.

It comes with a maximum 35-foot maximum spray stream that allows less effort for the user to reach farther areas. It comes with three nozzles that allow for multiple applications. Has a removable filter to ensure that the debris will not mix up with the spray solution.

Can greatly handle even the harshest gardening and lawn chemical solutions. It is one of the most recommended pumps in the market because it is able to generate a higher pressure, allowing the sprayer to have a more extended reach. Its nylon-reinforced hose is extra-long, allowing for a longer reach, that will minimize needed movements to cover the rest of the working area. Comes with four types of nozzles that make it a highly useful backpack sprayer.

Safety Features

It ensures no-leaks saving your skin from exposure to harmful chemicals, thanks to its internal pump and one way valve. It also comes with an automatic shut-off mechanism.

It just has the standard safety features of any backpack garden sprayer.

It is light lessening muscle strain, and body aches. It just has the regular safety features of standard sprayers.

The ergonomic features of this backpack sprayer is a major safety feature of this backpack sprayer. Apart from that it has the standard safety features of regular backpack garden and lawn sprayers.

Comfort Features

It is ergonomically-designed, lightweight, and very convenient to use. The padded straps, back pads, and waist-belt help ensure comfort during use. It weighs 13.15 lbs. and has a trigger that is easy to use protecting the user from strain from repetitive movements.

It is one of the lightest pumps in the market today, at just 10.4 pounds. It is ergonomic and is designed with shoulder straps that are comfortable enough in the shoulders. The pump can also be transferred from one side to another to accommodate left or right handed preference.

Even if it is a motorized pump, it is amazingly light at just 11.82 lbs. You would not have to pump as well because it is motorized or battery operated. It also comes with a comfortable grip for spraying that is cushioned. It also has plush deluxe shoulder pads for carrying ease. The cushioned spray handle also paves the way for better comfort.

While it is the one of the heaviest backpack sprayers in the market today, the Solo 425 made it up to its users by coming up with comfort features enough to minimize the strain that users may experience with the backpack sprayer. It also comes with an interchanging handle to accommodate a left or right handed operation. The straps are also padded to ensure maximum comfort while working.

Convenience Features

It is so convenient to use in view of its four-gallon capacity, extended wand, four extra nozzles, spray holder, and transferrable pump handle to accommodate right hand or left hand preference.

It stands on its own, such that when one needs to lay it on the ground to attend to something, the solution will not leak. The package comes with an extra bronze nozzle. It has a continuous spray mechanism allowing for better spraying and coverage.

It can spray continuously for almost two hours which is equivalent to fifty gallons worth of spray liquid. This frees the user from manual pumping which can cause strain. It comes with a wide-six inch mouth that allows for easy filling of spray solutions.

This pump is very convenient to use as it is high pressured, allowing the user to spray plants on a wider area without having to exert a lot of effort. Its opening is extra bigger than standard manual pumps to ease refilling. This particular opening has a filter that ensures that the gardening solution will not be tainted with debris. The downside though is that it is the heaviest in the market as it weighs 14 lbs.

Durability

It is a professional-grade backpack sprayer that can be used whole day minus any inconvenience. Since it ias made with top notch quality Viton Seals, it can withstand any type of chemical, even those that are known to be corrosive. It is made of Metal and Polyethylene.

Like most backpack sprayers in the market it is made of Polyethylene and Metal. It comes with a bonus brass nozzle that is heavy duty. As a product manufactured by a brand well-known for its durability, the Stanley Backpack Sprayer is expected to be durable.

Better sustains wear and tear given its metal and polyethylene construction. Its lithium battery is manufactured by Black and Decker—a leader in power tools and equipment.

It is made of metal, nylon and High-density Polyethylene, ensuring long service and maximum durability. This pro-level pump is made with high-quality materials that are meant to stand the harshness of even the most corrosive spray solutions. It is UV Resistant as well effectively holding various gardening and farming spray solutions, plus cleansing formulas when needed for that purpose.

Pricing and Warranty

It is one of the higher-priced backpack garden sprayers in the market today. It comes though with a one-year warranty.

It is a mid-priced pump that comes with a lifetime limited warranty. Since it is a product with a high brand recall, good customer service is a hallmark feature.

It is the most expensive among the four pumps in this article and mainly because it is the only motorized pump that we reviewed. Compared however with similar motorized pumps, this pump is moderately-priced.

This backpack sprayer comes with a limited one year warranty. As for the pricing, this particular backpack pump is moderately priced, as it is more expensive compared to similar manual pumps in the market.

Conclusion and Recommendation:

All the pumps in this review have received stellar feedback from their respective satisfied customers. However after this evaluation, we have decided to share with you what we find to be the Best Over-all Backpack Pump and Best Value-for-money Backpack Pump, considering the factors that we have mentioned earlier.

Our Best over-all backpack pump is Chapin 63985 Powered by Black & Decker given its power, durability, and over all comfort and convenience features. As for the Best Value for Money Backpack Pump, we give this title to Field King. Apart from the great garden spraying features, it is a professional grade heavy duty backpack sprayer that is very safe to use. The no-leak mechanism ensures that the spray solution does not only gets wasted. It makes sure that your skin will not be exposed to harmful chemicals while working on the garden and the lawn.

Apr 13

Best Spiked Lawn Aerator Shoes and Sandals Reviews for Gardening

By chadchaffin | Gardening

For any property owner, going home to a lush, green lawn will always be a welcoming and refreshing sight. We all know though that a well-manicured lawn requires maintenance, which can either be a lot of work for the homeowner, or a lot of expense when outsourced to someone else.

So when your lawn seems to be not as lush as it is before, then it definitely is high time to act on it before it will require a more drastic like professional treatment, or worse, a new bed of grass.

Aerating the lawn is one way to make lawn grass healthier and greener. It basically means getting air, water and nutrients flowing back to the grass roots, once the soil has been too compact or there are other issues that prevent the grass from individually absorbing the nutrients from the water and the lawn fertilizer.

There are a couple of ways to aerate a lawn, and one of these ways is by using Lawn Aerator Shoes. This guide aims to help you decide on which particular brand to purchase given your specific needs for your lawn, and your personal considerations as well.

We will be discussing the ways to aerate a lawn, and why lawn aerator shoes is quickly becoming a favorite option of home owners. We will also be dishing out some tips in buying lawn aerator shoes as well as the factors to consider when making a purchase decision.

To further guide you in buying a pair, we would also be providing recommendations on the best lawn aerator shoes based on certain specifications.

Most Recommended Lawn Aerator Shoes

Below is a summary of the top Lawn Aerator Shoe brands in the market and how they fare in comparison with each other, and in terms of important factors to consider when purchasing this type of garden tool.

We no longer included a cost comparison of the brands since they are priced in almost the same cost bracket.

We will be including in this table comparison, the following brands:

  1. GoPPa Lawn aerator shoes
  2. Acre Gear Already Assembled Lawn Aerator Shoes
  3. Punchau Lawn Aerator Shoes w/Metal Buckles and 3 Straps
  4. Ansbro Lawn Aerator Shoes

Ways to Aerate a Lawn

There are five ways to aerate a lawn, and it usually depends on the size of the lawn, and the preference and availability of the homeowner on which way he will go for.

  • Hand Aerator is probably one of the most common tool to aerate a lawn, and it is affordable too. It looks like a mini version of a rake, and can effectively loosen the soil in an otherwise compacted ground. And while this method is almost perfect for homeowners who are tending a small garden, it could be quite taxing especially when it has to be done on a regular basis. It is manual labor to say the least.
  • Rolling or Spike Aerators. This could be the most effective and quickest way to aerate a lawn, but it definitely comes with a price. A rolling aerator is best for big lawns and grassy areas that would need regular aerating to maintain its lushness. It works like a lawn mower, only instead of grass cutters, it has a roller with spikes that poke holes into the ground so that water, and fertilizer nutrients can be absorbed by the grass.
  • Plug Aerators. Is one of the most efficient ways to aerate a lawn – thanks to the hollow tines that ensure water and fertilizer gets into the roots of the grass. And while it is very effective, it does not work on all types of surfaces. For instance during the summer, or when the lawn got too hard and compact due to heavy foot traffic, the plug aerator can get damaged as the tines will not be able to penetrate the soil. In fact the hollow tines of this tool can get bent when used in too hard a lawn area.
  • Aerator Shoes. For the multi-tasker, aerator shoes proves to be the best solution to a lawn that is already losing its luster or life. It is so easy to use, in fact, one can aerate a lawn while tending to other garden chores by wearing aerator shoes underneath one’s gardening footwear. And while it is not advisable to use it on a slope, lawn aerator shoes is fast becoming the first option of homeowners and gardening enthusiasts because of the convenience that it brings. In short, it gets the job done without the fuss!

Benefits of Using Lawn Aerator Shoes or Sandals

There are many benefits in using lawn aerator shoes or sandals. Here are some:

  1. Allows Multi-Tasking. Lawn Aerator shoes help busy homeowners aerate their lawn while doing other garden chores. All they have to do is to wear it, and presto! They are already aerating their lawn through the spikes of the aerator shoes.
  2. It is affordable. A home garden owner no longer needs to hire professional services which can be costly, nor purchase a gardening tool that can be quite pricey. Lawn Aerator Shoes are affordable, durable, and easy to maintain. And as long as it is used properly, and cared for by bits owner, it can last for years.
  3. It is space-saving. Lawn Aerator Shoes are the aerator of choice of property owners with smaller homes and garden. This means that having a huge aerator like a spike or rolling aerator may eat up too much space on mini garden. Lawn Aerator Shoes are the opposite of that because it is compact and easy to store. It is also very easy to pack away especially during months when a homeowner does not need to aerate his lawn.

Factors to Consider when buying lawn aerator shoes

There are a couple of notable brands of aerator shoes in the market today, such that a prospective buyer can easily get confused as to what qualities to look out for when it comes to selecting a good lawn aerator shoes.

Here are some of the factors to consider when buying lawn aerator shoes:

  1. Purpose of Aerating. How big is the area you are supposed to aerate and how regularly do you intend to use it. Once you have considered these factors, then decide on the comfort, convenience, and durability the shoes can provide.
  2. Effectiveness. How effective is the lawn aerator shoes, and are the tines string enough to aerate the lawn and ensure that water and nutrients gets to the roots of the grass? Some tines do bend even on the first use especially when the ground is too dry or has not been moist enough for aerating. Make sure to get a pair that comes with strong, heavy-duty tines that will serve its purpose.
  3. Shoe Size. Some aerator shoes may have a one-size-fits-all type of sizing, and some do have size specifications. People with smaller feet, or women in general, may be better off choosing lawn aerator shoes that have relative sizing options.
  4. Durability. Find out about the material used in manufacturing the lawn aerator shoes, and make sure that it is weather-proof and durable enough to sustain the wear and tear of regular use.
  5. Strapping. Check out the material used in strapping the lawn aerator shoes to your gardening footwear, and if it can function using your gardening footwear of choice. This is because some straps may not be adjustable enough to fit into the gardening footwear, such that it comes off easily, causing the wearer too much of a hassle.
  6. Extra Tines. Some brands do come with extra tines so that if ever some gets bent or does fall off, one can easily replace it so that the shoes can still work efficiently.
  7. Cost. Of course, a person should buy only what he can afford. Lawn aerator shoes are affordable, but its costliness may be subjective depending on a person’s budget. Take advantage of online deals and discounts.
  8. Warranty and Customer Service. Does the product come with a warranty? What if the tines get bent, or simply the straps will not work well with your gardening footwear? Can the manufacturer offer up some options? What are their provisions for returns and request for refunds? These questions are very important should you encounter any issues with you pair of lawn aerator shoes.

General Tips when Buying and Using Lawn Aerator Shoes

  1. Make sure to get the right aerator shoes. Check out the sizing and adjustability of the shoes you are buying. Ensure that the straps fit well and that the contraption is comfortable enough for you to stand in while working and walking around your garden.
  2. Surface compatibility check is important. Take into consideration the topography of your lawn or garden, as well as your lawn size before buying. Aerator Shoes may not function well on slopes.
  3. Consider Ease of Assembly. Some aerator shoes may require assembly, and it will always be a smart idea to choose one that is easy to assemble and use.
  4. Double check the quality. The materials used in manufacturing the lawn aerator shoes should be of top quality. For instance, the straps should be durable yet weather resistant. Same goes with the buckles, which ideally should be made of metal. More importantly, the spikes should be durable enough to withstand the wearer’s weight and at the same time be strong enough to create holes in the lawn that will be the access point of water and nutrients towards the grass.
  5. Add-ons are important. Apart from extra spikes, a wrench that is included in the shoe set could come in handy.

GoPPa Lawn aerator shoes

Acre Gear Already Assembled Lawn Aerator Shoes

Punchau Lawn Aerator Shoes

Ansbro Lawn Aerator Shoes

EFFECTIVENESS

It effectively holds the feet tight for a more efficient and comfortable aeration. The tines are tightly held too in the foot contraption making it even more durable in forking the lawn, and ensuring that water gets into the grass.

This product has very durable tines held by spring lock washers that prevents it from getting pulled out or bent. At the same time great foot contraption that fits tightly to the wearer’s regular shoe, making it even more effective even on extra compact soil.

Quick and Convenient to Use as it easily straps on to the sandals, fit well on any chosen gardening footwear

It is heavy duty and very efficient such that the twenty six tines that are held by twenty six washers easily penetrates the soil for easier and better aeration.

MATERIALS USED

The sturdy straps are effectively held by rust-proof metal buckles that help this garden tool become even more heavy-duty and weather proof.

It is made of sturdy straps, zinc-alloy buckles that prevent breakage, and two-inch sharp steel

Has metal buckles, and durable sole that latches on any ordinary shoe

It is made of six nylon shoe laces or straps, plus heavy duty zinc alloy buckles that quickly and tightly holds a regular shoe unto this gardening contraption.

DURABILITY OF THE TINES

The tines are made of durable two-inch spikes that can effectively penetrate even on compact soil.

The 13 tines in each sandal are extra heavy-duty sharp steel spikes. These are two inch long to provide for maximum lawn aeration.

The tines are made of two-inch metal spikes that fork into the ground to help water and nutrients get through the grass roots.

The tines are made of two-inch metal nails that effectively penetrates the lawn. There are a total of 26 tines per pair of lawn aerator shoes.

COMFORT AND FIT

This particular lawn aerator shoes comes with four straps that effectively clips on any ordinary shoe, or gardening footwear on to the aerating shoe contraption. This ensures less accidents, and better comfort for the wearer.

This sandals come with an extra strap, such that the wearer can comfortably fit the sandals unto his chosen regular footwear.

This lawn aerator shoes has three instead of the usual two straps to ensure comfort and great fit as you aerate your lawn

This product fits well on any regular shoe given the straps, and just the right-size buckles that firmly and tightly attaches the lawn aerating sandals on a regular pair of shoes.

EASE OF ASSEMBLY

This product arrives at your doorstep pre-assembled saving more than 40 minutes of your time in assembling the product. You can literally use it right away, upon getting it out from the box.

No assembly required. It is pre-assembled as it gets shipped into the home. The only time one has to assemble something is when he needs to attach an extra strap.

Easy to assemble and wear on regular footwear

This product requires a quick five-minute assembly that is fully guided by a detailed instructions flyer.

SIZING

It is a one-size fits all foot contraption

One size fits most

One-Size Fits All

It is a one-size fits all product that has the following specific dimensions: 11-3/4" x 5-1/2".

EXTRA FEATURES

It comes with two extra nails, a small wrench, and a recyclable box for stowing away after aeration.

This particular brand comes with two extra straps, two extra spikes, two extra nuts to secure the two extra tines, two additional spring-loaded washers for the extra spikes, an all- purpose wrench, a user’s manual plus step-by-step usage instructions.

It has three instead of the usual two straps, and these heavy-duty straps are held by a metal buckles that are definitely not flimsy

Comes with extra nails, an extra screw nut and washer just in case some gets lost.

WARRANTY & RETURNS

So far this product has the best warranty features as they come with a 100% Risk Free Satisfaction Guarantee clause. The manufacturers are so confident with their product that they will replace or issue refunds if the buyer will not be happy with his purchased lawn aerator shoes.

The customer should get in touch directly with the product seller to obtain information on warranty, refunds, and returns.

Buyer has to directly get in touch with the product manufacturer for warranty and returns

This product comes with a 30-day worry-free guarantee and great after-sales assistance.

Conclusion:

When looking for the best lawn aerator shoes, one must consider all the features, materials, and ease of use factors that come with each pair of this gardening tool.

Among the four lawn aerator shoes reviewed in this guide, The Goppa Lawn Aerator Shoes comes with the best features, great price point, good convenience features such as pre-assembly, and great warranty and after sales feature.

The heavy duty materials used in this gardening tool makes it an affordable and convenient way to aerate a lawn, as compared to renting out expensive gardening equipment just to ensure that water, fertilizer and nutrients get into the grass roots.

What is also great about it is that no matter the size of the feet, one can comfortably use this lawn aerator because of the straps and buckles that are perfectly designed to ensure an optimal fit and tight wear – critical for effective lawn aeration.